Redevelopment of a prime piece of South Austin property may be in the works soon. Located at 1725 Toomey Road, in extremely close proximity to both Barton Springs and the lakefront, the property is currently home to the three-story, 40-unit Barton Springs Apartments, built in 1967. It’s currently on the market for an asking price of $32 million. 

In a case that has been before the city since it was first presented to the Planning Commission last July, the owner has applied for a rezoning of the property from its current general commercial status to Multifamily-Highest Density, or MF-6. The Austin City Council approved the request on first reading at its December 9 meeting. If the Council approves it on second and third readings, the rezoning will allow buildings of up to 75 feet in height on the 0.9-acre property, 15 feet higher than allowed under its current zoning.

The case was postponed eight times before the Council took a vote on first reading Thursday, in large part because of negotiations among various city representatives, the neighborhood, and an organization of current apartment tenants. In the process, tenants secured agreements for a right of first refusal when the apartments are torn down and replaced with a larger complex, a promise that the building will not be more than 75 feet tall (the original request was for up to 90 feet in height), that tenants will get 180 days’ notice and will not pay any rent for 90 days prior to demolition, and that the developer will pay up to $250 in application fees, $500 in moving expenses, and $2,000 for every tenant’s first month’s rent upon relocating.

The land proposed for redevelopment and rezoning is marked in blue.City of Austin

Other conditions include the prohibition of short-term rentals in the new building and the installation of a vegetative buffer along Toomey Street. In exchange for these and other agreements, the tenants agreed not to protest a rezoning.

Council Member Ann Kitchen, who represents the district where the apartments are located, said at the meeting that she would not support the rezoning on further readings unless a restrictive covenant that provides for affordable housing units, for rent or for sale, is in place. The zoning change passed on consent on first reading.